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Manager of Grotto Pizza charged with selling cocaine on the restaurant floor

NewsCampus NewsManager of Grotto Pizza charged with selling cocaine on the restaurant floor

NYA WYNN
Staff Reporter





Michael Gordon-Somers, manager of Grotto Pizza, was arrested Feb. 23 by Newark Police for a slew of drug-related charges, in addition to a charge of driving on a revoked license. 

Gordon-Somers, 40 from Elkton, Maryland, was charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, four counts of drug dealing, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has since been released on his own recognizance. 

According to court documents, Gordon-Somers admitted to using the parking lots behind and across from Grotto Pizza to conduct several drug deals over the past two years and to take drugs himself. 

During an unrelated drug investigation, Newark Police worked with a cooperating witness who purchased cocaine from a dealer. The cooperating witness found that the dealer had to go to Main Street to acquire the cocaine and passed this information to the police. 

The Newark Police Department was able to track the activity of the dealer back to Lot 2, the parking lot across the street from Grotto Pizza, where police observed an interaction between Gordon-Somers and the alleged dealer.  

Larissa Veronica Heather/THE REVIEW

Authorities began an investigation on Gordon-Somers last October, when they received a tip identifying Gordon-Somers as a distributor of cocaine with the will to sell to fellow Grotto Pizza employees and customers on the restaurant floor. 

“When they began to investigate the tip using different surveillance techniques, they zeroed in on him as a suspect,” Andrew Rubin, lieutenant at the Newark Police Department, told The Review. 

Last December, police surveilled Gordon-Somers purchasing cocaine from who they presumed to be a dealer. 

They continued this investigation into January. Police were able to observe multiple interactions between Gordon-Somers and other unidentified subjects where something was passed hand-to-hand, which is consistent with drug-related activity, according to court documents. 

Acting on suspicion that Gordon-Somers was involved with drug activity, in February, the Newark Police Department Street Crimes Unit (SCU) set up comprehensive surveillance in the area around Lot 1, Lot 2 and on East Main Street near Grotto Pizza. 

“They observed him engage in four different deliveries of cocaine over the course of the investigation,” Rubin said. “Once that was done, they got a search warrant and stopped his vehicle.” 

The SCU conducted a vehicle traffic stop, during which they found that Gordon-Somers’ license was revoked. According to court documents, after searching the car, they found a total of 23.1 grams of cocaine separated into smaller bags, in addition to plastic and nylon bags synonymous with the drug trade. 

Since then, Gordon-Somers’ employment at Grotto Pizza has been suspended, the Newark Post reported. In regards to who Gordon-Somers was obtaining the cocaine from, Rubin declined to comment, as the Newark Police Department’s investigation is still ongoing.

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